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Five Championship players ready for the Premier League

The Championship is packed full of talent this season in what has been another campaign of gripping action in England’s second tier.

Last season’s relegation of Premier League regulars Leicester, Leeds and Southampton, alongside the return to the division of sleeping giants Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday, has made this a season with real quality right throughout the division.

We’ve profiled five players starring in the second tier, each of whom appear ready for the step up into the Premier League.

Crysencio Summerville (Leeds)

Crysencio Summerville caught the eye despite Leeds United’s relegation from the Premier League last season, with the Dutch winger scoring four times in the top tier including late winners against Liverpool and Bournemouth.

He has been at the forefront of Leeds’ push for an instant return to the Premier League, forming part of a vibrant forward line who have shared the goals around at Elland Road. Dan James and Joël Piroe have each reached double figures in the league, though it’s Summerville who leads the way with 13 for the campaign in all competitions.

He’s added seven assists to that return and leads the Championship for chances created, while ranking third for successful take-ons and carries into the penalty area. A real livewire from either flank, he sits in the top 10% of all Championship players for non-penalty goals, assists, progressive carries and attacking penalty area touches in 2023/24.

Jack Clarke (Sunderland)

Jack Clarke has rebuilt his reputation in a Sunderland shirt and looks primed for a Premier League return shortly. The winger signed for Tottenham from Leeds as a teenager but struggled to make an impact in a too-much-too-soon move to North London.

He scored 11 times as Sunderland reached the play-offs last season and has improved on that return already this time around, with 13 goals and four assists in the Championship. West Ham were linked with the wideman, who tops the second tier for successful take-ons, progressive carries, progressive carrying distance and carries into the penalty box this season, in January, while Italian side Lazio saw a £14m bid turned down.

 

Clarke has insisted the transfer speculation does not faze him and has reiterated his happiness at the Stadium of Light. However, if Sunderland – a point outside the play-offs at present – fail to go up, the Black Cats could face a struggle to keep Clarke in the North East.

“Honestly, I’m happy to be here, and I’m still enjoying every minute in a Sunderland shirt and for me, the stuff that gets said on the outside doesn’t seem to bother me,” Clarke said.

“As long as I’m coming in every day and wearing a Sunderland shirt I’m happy.”

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester)

Leicester have romped to the top of the Championship table and are red-hot favourites to secure promotion to the Premier League. Having managed to retain a large core of the squad, the Foxes have been the best side in the division with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall a cut above the Championship.

The midfielder has 10 goals and 10 assists in the second tier this season, leading the division for assists per 90 minutes. Such has been his quality in the final third, several Premier League clubs approached the 25-year-old in January regarding a mid-season move.

Brighton led the race, though there was reported interest from Brentford, Fulham and Arsenal. That the latter reportedly believed Dewsbury-Hall could aid their title challenge is recognition of his performances at the King Power Stadium this season.

Jonathan Rowe (Norwich)

Another talent tipped to make a move to the Premier League last month, Jonathan Rowe’s breakthrough at Norwich has captured the attention of top-flight scouts.

Rowe began the season with five goals in five games and has not looked back, reaching 12 in the Championship so far this season. He has featured on both flanks and in midfield this season, with no midfielder in the division averaging more non-penalty goals per 90 minutes than the 20-year-old.

His performances have earned Rowe international recognition, making his debut for England’s u-21 side during October’s international break and marking the occasion with a goal against Serbia.

Tottenham and Brighton were credited with January interest in Rowe, whose current deal is set to run out in the summer of 2025. Norwich, however, have an option to extend by a year until 2026.

Morgan Whittaker (Plymouth)

Morgan Whittaker has found a home at Plymouth after struggling to break through at former club Swansea, with a loan move last season turned permanent after helping The Pilgrims to League One promotion.

Plymouth have reaped the rewards of their £1m record investment in Whittaker, who has taken the Championship by storm this season. After a slow start, Whittaker has found form and has 16 goals this season, leading the race for the division’s Golden Boot alongside Blackburn’s
Sammie Szmodics.

That return includes nine in his last eight games to help keep Argyle clear of the drop zone. His stay at Home Park might be a short one, however, with Lazio having seen an approach rejected in January. Expect further interest in the versatile forward this summer.

“You’ve just got to look and think ‘these clubs are in for you, it’s amazing, just use that to kick on and keep playing with confidence and don’t let it stress you out’,” Whittaker told BBC Radio Devon on the bid from Lazio.

“Obviously it’s a lot because your name’s in the headlines, but when a team like that comes in you’ve just got to use it as a positive and just show how far you’ve come.”

Read – Player Analysis: How Ross Barkley is flourishing at Luton Town

See more – Five Premier League players impressing under the radar this season

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